Golfing success runs in the family, and for Loyal Goodermote, the spotlight has now turned to him.
“No one in our family played golf, or even watched it until I was 10 years old,” said junior Loyal Goodermote, a member of the New Paltz High School boy’s golf team. “Then, as my older brother John wanted to play for our varsity golf team, my dad arranged for us to get some very basic lessons. Just how to hold the clubs and where to put your feet.”
Those lessons were put to good use. John Goodermote, Loyal’s older brother, joined the team back when he was in middle school. This move inspired his younger brother Loyal to do the same when he was in seventh grade, the year in which students are eligible to go out for varsity sports. “The more I tried it, the more I liked it. I’ve been playing and enjoying it since then,” said Loyal Goodermote.
John Goodermote saw many improvements and milestones in his career at New Paltz, including a third-place finish in the Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) championship his senior year. His brother was right behind him, as Loyal Goodermote finished fourth in the same tournament. Since then, Loyal Goodermote has gotten older and improved his golfing abilities.
On Oct. 18, Loyal Goodermote took home the MHAL championship for boys golf at Apple Greens Golf Course. He shot a two-under-69 to win the chip, edging out two of his teammates to secure the victory. According to Goodermote, it’s still a shock. “It hasn’t really hit me yet, but I am really grateful for the win.”
This isn’t the first time Loyal Goodermote has had such impressive achievements. Along with his previous fourth-place finish in the MHAL, he has a few more winning experiences under his belt. “When I was in 9th grade, I scored par  and helped my team to win the MHAL team championship in 2021,” he recounted. “We also set a record-low score for the team, 149 in total, of the four best players that year.”
The Mid-Hudson Athletic League includes districts located in Section IX of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA). There are 17 teams in the MHAL, including New Paltz, Millbrook Central, Our Lady of Lourdes and Saugerties. For boy’s golf, New Paltz is in division two of Section IX, facing league opponents Rondout Valley Central, Red Hook Central and Marlboro. During the recent MHAL tournament, New Paltz was contested by players from districts Roosevelt and Red Hook, whose golfers took fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Loyal Goodermote’s win in the MHAL was on individual terms, but throughout the season the program competes as a team, all pitching in to gain points. “It makes it more fun and it helps too,” commented Loyal Goodermote, regarding balancing team culture and individual performance. “Competing for the team always gives me extra motivation. When you compete in the individual events it usually feels more pressure, [but] having your team around makes it a bit easier.”
The Huguenots have also been successful as a team. Coached by Kieren Bell, this season they had a winning record of 7-3 and last year they were named league champions for the second straight year. Key players other than Loyal Goodermote include Stephen Carr and Oliver Watson. Watson was a key member of the team last season as he won the individual tournament, which was a key factor in New Paltz bringing home the league title. Loyal Goodermote just beat out both teammates in the MHAL championship this year, as Carr shot 70, followed by Watson who shot 75. All three teammates, who are top golfers in Section IX, will go on to see the sectional championship held in May of 2024.
Being only a junior himself, Loyal Goodermote is still young in the game and young with the amount of success he has had. Although individual golfers can be as victorious as Loyal Goodermote and the rest of his teammates have, both team and individual consistency is a challenging skill to master within the game of golf, especially at the high school level.
“It has been challenging. As I’ve been growing, my body is changing, literally every day,” commented Loyal Goodermote. “It affects my driving and my putting most. So, I tried to do a lot of analysis of my games, my swings and my performance.”
His efforts paid off. Loyal Goodermote clinched his MHAL victory by putting a five-foot ball into the hole, a testament to his improvement in his putting game. He won’t let his triumph in one area halt him from overall improvement. Practice makes perfect after all. “My putting has gotten better but there is a lot more work I’ll need to do on my driving.”
Loyal Goodermote will continue to spark success on the course, while acting as a role model for the newcomers in the program, as he is now an accomplished leader on the team. “Compared with last season, we lost three key players, which is half of our team, but we got several new promising young kids who hopefully will have the opportunity to improve in future years.”
Loyal Goodermote and the team will resume play in the spring after concluding their fall campaign, facing numerous league and non-league opponents. Looking toward the future, on and off the course, Loyal Goodermote is motivated by the idea of what is to come.
“What inspires me is not actually a person, but the challenge to be able to do my best.”